By my own admission, I am late to the legal cannabis game. At the time I wrote this a little over half a year ago, I could not know how much I could learn in such a short period of time. It remains but a drop in the bucket of what is available. But practically speaking, I am ahead of the curve relative to the widespread adoption of legal cannabis among boomers. Oh, I know I am not the only one to recognize the potential that legalizing weed offers. But boomers are sometimes slow to act.
Here are five ways to understand how boomers can still ride the legal cannabis train:
1. Tech Brands in the Legit Cannabis Space
Did you know that tech brands are already functioning in the legit cannabis space? Maybe this does not surprise you but do you understand “how” they are in this space? When you look at the involvement of the companies below, it may become more clear that the building blocks for the foundation of the legal cannabis train and its economy are in motion.
- Amazon, the ever-present behemoth in all of our lives, sells everything from grinders to tools that professional cannabis manufacturers use.
- Instagram is the primary marketer. Just take a look.
- On Fleet is a logistics software company that manages deliveries. Think wholesale and direct sales to consumers
- Alexis Ohanian, venture capitalist and Serena William’s husband, is part of a venture capital company called Meadow that, according to the work of Alex Halperin, “powers the online menus and delivery services for dozens of cannabis retailers.”
- Yelp, known for restaurant reviews, has begun to carry reviews of dispensaries and cannabis doctors.
2. FDA Approved Three Synthetic Cannabinoid-based Medicines
According to MedicalMaryJane, the FDA hasn’t approved any product derived from the whole cannabis plant yet. Even though it is widely known that the plant is used to treat conditions such as neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, nausea and epilepsy to name but a few illnesses.
FDA has approved Marinol, Syndros and Cesamet, three synthetic, cannabinoid-based medicines but not the marijuana plant itself. I could be reading too much into this fact, but I don’t think so.
Legit professionals are already asking how to integrate medical cannabis into your wellness plan, which means you too can ride the legal cannabis train.
3. Universities Awarded Contracts to Evangelize Legal Cannabis
According to Black Enterprise, this past summer “… Florida newspapers reported that FAMU (Florida University and Agricultural University) had been selected by the state to lead education efforts in minority communities concerning the use of medical marijuana and the drug’s illegal use.”
Florida Health has an Office of Medical Marijuana Use, which has been charged with writing the rules, overseeing the statewide registry, and licensing businesses that will cultivate, process, and dispense the drug to eligible patients. BE went on to say, “The school will receive a percentage of each license issued, as well as $10 from the $75 identification card that allows approved patients to purchase medical marijuana. These funds will be used to develop the school’s education program.”
Maybe it’s going a little far to say FAMU will evangelize legal cannabis. I am certain it’s more politically correct to say FAMU will lead education efforts. For me, this mandate is not clear: educate the community on marijuana’s medical use while educating the community on its illegal use is an exercise in holding two convergent thoughts. When medical cannabis becomes legal in Florida, this will be a moot point. But I guess that is the point: medical cannabis is legal but Cannabis is not in Florida. For FAMU, there is a contract to be had, money to be made and jobs to be had.
4. A Plethora of New Jobs
Just imagine if only half of what I have listed above is happening, there are sure to be jobs created to track and watch everybody’s money. There will be opportunities to own dispensaries, to oversee compliance issues in companies, and much I do not as yet see. But I know you will need educated, well-informed budtenders to talk to when you enter dispensaries; and lawyers to oversee the regulations on the city and state levels, nevermind the Federal government. Do you get my drift?
I don’t foresee the same prejudices as seeking to enter white collar jobs thirty, forty years ago. However, people of color will have to fight for their share of the legal cannabis pie when it comes to the equitable distribution of licenses to sell, dispensaries to interact with the public, and generally the right to profit from the plant.
Many folks went to jail accused of having profited from the illegal sale. Now it is time for those same people to profit from the legal sale of the same plant. Here are a few key opportunities in the pipeline:
- dispensary ownership
- compliance officers
- sales and marketing
5. Medical Marijuana As An Option to Prescription Drugs
Boomers want options to the standard highly prescribed, run-of-the-mill pills for chronic conditions. In the end, you will have to decide if medical marijuana is an alternative medicine for you. Just know that the way is being cleared for cannabis to become an alternative medicine for very serious diseases. An open mind may come in handy.
These are a few of the facts I’ve learned as I educate myself. It is leading me to come out of the bushes about my interest in legal cannabis because I recognize that hiding is a carryover from having come of age when marijuana was illegal. That is not the case in all states today.
Photo by Tim Savage from Pexels